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Presentation by Dr. Sylvie Nozaradan

Neural entrainment to musical rhythms and meter, as captured with scalp and intracerebral EEG

Abstract: Getting entrained to music, and to musical beat and meter, is an extremely common human activity, shared by humans of all cultures. However, how the brain supports beat induction remains unclear. One of the major goals of our work is to explore the link between phenomenology of entrainment to musical rhythms on the one hand, and neurophysiological studies on neural entrainment on the other hand. In both, entrainment processes and tendencies towards periodicity have been described as fundamental functional characteristics. Considering this, we tested whether periodicities induced by musical rhythms could entrain neural activities at frequencies corresponding to these periodicities. To this aim, using scalp and intracerebral electroencephalography (EEG) in humans, we developed an approach to capture the processing of beat and meter periodicities in the form of steady-state evoked potentials identified in the EEG spectrum.

I will present several experiments conducted to test our approach within various aspects of beat perception in normal individuals: elicited by mental imagery paced onto periodic sounds (Nozaradan et al., 2011), emerging spontaneously when listening to rhythmic patterns (Nozaradan et al., 2012), or elicited by sensorimotor synchronization to the beat and movement priming (Nozaradan et al., in press). Taken together, these results suggest that our approach is suitable to explore phenomena of entrainment to musical rhythms as embodied in the human brain. Moreover, they confirm that studying musical rhythms gives us a unique opportunity to explore fundamental neural mechanisms such as sensorimotor integration.

Bio: Sylvie Nozaradan (http://sylvienozaradan.webnode.com), M.D., Ph.D., is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Neuroscience (UCL, Belgium). She conducted her Ph.D. on neural entrainment to musical rhythms both at UCL (Belgium) and BRAMS (UdeM, Montreal, Canada), under the co-supervision of Drs. André Mouraux and Isabelle Peretz. She has a double background in music (B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Music performance and music writing, CrB, Belgium) and science (medical doctor degree, neurology, UCL).


Sep 26 2013


4:00 pm - 5:00 pm




BRAMS - Suite 0120
1430 boul Mont Royal



BRAMS (International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research) is a unique laboratory dedicated to research excellence in the study of music and auditory cognition with a focus on neuroscience. BRAMS is located in Montreal and jointly affiliated with the University of Montreal and McGill University.


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